One of the fastest ways to waste money in marketing is through “hope marketing.” Unfortunately, many businesses have been improperly educated about how to promote a product or service. “Hope marketing” is the practice of advertising a product in a newspaper, magazine, or online and hoping it reaches the desired audience. Devoid of split marketing testing, web copy evaluation, or advertisement analysis, this type of marketing will dissolve an advertising budget faster than an Alka Seltzer in water. Sadly, this mentality is prevalent in discipleship groups. Without any clear expectations set forth by the leader, members of the discipleship group may be tempted to become lazy and disengaged. The purpose of a D-group (discipleship group) is to grow in Christ-likeness (Romans 8:29). One avenue for achieving this goal is through accountability. Here is a list of eight accountability questions to ask you D-Group members: 1. Have you spent time in the Word and in prayer this week? 2. Have you shared the gospel or your testimony with an unbeliever this week? 3. Have you spent quality time with your family this week? 4. Have you viewed anything immoral this week? 5. Have you had any lustful thoughts or tempting attitudes this week? 6. Have you told any self-promoting lies or half-truths this week? 7. Have you participated in anything unethical this week? 8. Have you lied about any of your answers today? Another common challenge in a discipling relationship is laziness on the part of the participants. If you’ve ever been in a group before you are nodding your head in agreement at this point. Remember, what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get accomplished Michael Billester once gave a Bible to a humble villager in eastern Poland. Returning a few years later, he learned that two hundred people had become believers through using it. When the group gathered to hear him preach, he suggested that before he spoke he would like each person to quote some verses of Scripture. One man rose and said, “Perhaps, Brother, we’ve misunderstood you. Did you mean verses or chapters?” Billester was astonished. “Are you saying there are people here who could recite complete chapters of the Bible?” That was precisely the case. In fact, thirteen of them knew half of Genesis and the books of Matthew and Luke. Another had committed all the psalms to memory. Combined, the two hundred believers knew virtually the entire Bible. Do we take our responsibility to read and memorize the Word as seriously as these believers? Do we dedicate ourselves to the work of the Lord or do we set low expectations for ourselves, or no expectations at all? We should strive for Christ-like excellence, but we are spiritually lethargic. A good way to combat laziness in your D-Group is with clear expectations at the outset of the group. I distribute a covenant at the first group meeting to be read over and signed the following week. Here is the covenant I use with all of my D-Groups:
Disciple-Making CovenantI will commit to the following expectations:
- I pledge myself fully to the Lord with the anticipation that I am entering a time of accelerated spiritual transformation.
- I will meet with my D-Group for approximately one-and-one-half hours every week, unless providentially hindered.
- I will complete all assignments on a weekly basis before my D-Group meeting, in order to contribute to the discussion.
- I will contribute to an atmosphere of confidentiality, honesty, and transparency for the edification of others in the group as well as my own spiritual growth.
- I will pray every week for the other men/women who are on the discipleship journey with me.
- I will begin praying about replicating the discipleship process upon completion of this group.